This week with our Wonders program our Essential Question is: How do we measure time? We will be reading A Second is a Hiccup by Hazel Hutchins. Understanding the passage of time can be a very abstract concept. How long is a second? A minute? How about an hour? This book will help to explain these units of time with examples that we can understand and apply. A second is how long it takes to hiccup...a week is seven sleeps. We will start our mathematical exploration of clocks – both digital and analog - with telling time to the hour and half hour.
Our phonics focus is the long vowel Aa with the spelling pattern of a-e (“Magic E, Silent E”). Last week we learned about the power of the letter “e” at the end of words with a focus on the spelling patterns for this week: _ake, _ame, _ate). We will be practicing a lot with this new concept. Confusion creeps in when we start to sound out these words. We have spent so many weeks on short vowels (words with a consonant-vowel-consonant such as rob, pin) and have mastered this concept. Now we will be learning that with a “magic e/silent e” at the end of the word, the vowel now says its name...a new sound to apply. So...rob becomes robe, pin becomes pine. Our spelling words follow three a_e spelling patterns (ake, ame, ate):
Our two new high-frequency words are: some, today. We will also focus on these additional high-frequency words: away, now, way, why.
Number Sense is so important and we will continue to focus on it. When children understand numbers and operations along with the ability to use this understanding in flexible ways to make mathematical judgments and to develop useful strategies for solving complex problems then they are developing number sense. Researchers note that number sense develops gradually, and varies as a result of exploring numbers, visualizing them in a variety of contexts, and relating them in ways that are not limited by traditional algorithms. Developing an understanding of numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems are focus areas of our math curriculum.
First graders move from developing basic counting techniques to understanding number size and relationships, place value, and operations. They develop this understanding at different rates. First graders can easily count 32 objects, but they do not always see that 32 is three groups of ten and 2 groups of ones. Through repeated practice they will understand that they can group objects into tens and ones and recognize their numerical representation. So…we practice and practice and practice these skills.
This week with our Everyday Mathematics program we will investigate place-value concepts for tens and ones. Last week before vacation we learned a new game. Using manipulatives we will be playing the Place Value Game to help reinforce this new skill. Here is some information for you about the Base Ten Blocks that we are using.
The Base Ten Blocks provide a spatial model of our base ten number system. The smallest blocks are units, these represent the number 1. The long, narrow blocks are called longs or rods and represent the number ten. Eventually we will be getting to flats, which represent 100 and even the largest cube which represent 1,000.
As a result, your children will understand that the number 32 consists of three longs (30) and two units: 30 + 2 = 32 (Expanded Notation). This is also a great concept for adding larger numbers. 32 + 54 = 30 + 50 + 2 + 4.
We will be reading and doing math extensions with some outstanding books that will help us with number sense. A Place for Zero, by Angeline Sparagna LoPresti comes up first. Stay tuned!
Last week we spent the three days learning how to Compare and Contrast similar stories. Using Jan Brett’s version and Jim Aylesworth’s version of The Mitten we focused on the setting, characters, and events in both stories. We looked at what was the same and what was different with the setting, the characters, and the events. Ask your child which version they liked better - - we had a great class discussion! Next time you are in school be sure to check out your child’s outstanding work on our bulletin board.